NTRA THOROUGHBRED NOTEBOOK
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|News and notes from around the Thoroughbred racing world, compiled
by NTRA Communications, (212) 907-9280.
SUNDAY'S SWAPS TO KICK OFF ESPN TV SERIES
"The Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships," a four-month, 16-program, 20-race series airing on the ESPN networks, begins this Sunday, July 15, with the telecast of the Grade I, $500,000 Swaps Stakes from Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., on ESPN2 from 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. (ET) More
WHEAT WINS DOGWOOD DOMINION AWARD
Julian "Buck" Wheat, known as the "Mayor of the Churchill Downs Backside" has been named the winner of the 2001 Dogwood Dominion Award, presented annually to an "unsung hero" in the Thoroughbred industry, it was announced by W. Cothran (Cot) Campbell, president of Dogwood Stable. Wheat, Churchill's director of Horsemen's Relations, was selected from 25 nominations by judges Anne Campbell, Penny Chenery and Jerry Bailey. He will receive a cash award of $5,000 and a bronze statue of Dominion at a luncheon at the Saratoga Reading Room on August 1.
"Buck Wheat did not win this award because of his title as "Mayor," nor for contributing enormously to making the greatest day in racing even more wonderful for the participants," said Campbell. "He won it because of his little known extracurricular activities on the backstretch that have spanned half a century. There have been many a hot walker, groom, exercise rider and trainer who have benefited from the compassion of this man. He has a passion for the industry, his job and particularly for the little people with whom he comes in contact. 'Unsung hero' is Buck Wheat's middle name!"
Wheat began his career at Churchill as an usher in 1949, when he was 16 years old. He later went on to become a trainer, but was never too busy to lend a helping hand to someone in need. In 1986 he became director of Horsemen's Relations and he has made the most of a position that puts him at the very heart of Churchill Downs -- the backstretch. Wheat's "duties" include overseeing the chaplaincy program, as well as serving on the Churchill Downs Racing Committee. He also spearheaded the Churchill Downs National Backside Community Fund, a trust set up by horsemen for horsemen to provide a financial stop-gap for those in need.
The award was inspired by the multiple stakes winner Dominion, who was campaigned by Dogwood in the 1970s and went on to become five-time Champion Sire in England. It was created upon his death in 1993 to recognize the "unsung heroes" in the racing industry. Former winners are H. W. "Salty" Roberts, Howard "Gelo" Hall, Peggy Sprinkles, Grace Belcuore, Nick Caras, Donald "Peanut Butter" Brown, Danny Perlsweig and Katherine Todd Smith. Past honorees, friends and family of the 2001 winner, and various racing enthusiasts and industry leaders will attend the august 1 luncheon at Saratoga.
SPEEDSTERS GATHER IN MIAMI FOR SATURDAY SUMMIT
Dream Supreme and City Zip are just two of the more than 20 sprint stars shipping to Miami's Calder Racecourse from all over the country to take on the locals in six stakes races worth over $1 million combined in Saturday's Summit of Speed program.
Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day will ride the Bill Mott-trained Dream Supreme, the likely favorite in the $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap at six furlongs. The Princess Rooney is the richest sprint race for fillies and mares on the North American racing calendar.
Jorge Chavez, winner of this year's Kentucky Derby aboard Monarchos, has drawn the riding assignment on City Zip for trainer Linda Rice in the $250,000 Carry Back Stakes for three-year-olds at six furlongs. The Carry Back was won last year by the top sprinter Caller One.
Also on the program is the Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred Challenge, a $25,000 race that pits four Quarter Horses against four Thoroughbreds at the abbreviated distance of 880 yards.
Coverage of the Princess Rooney, the Carry Back, the Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred Challenge plus three other stakes events at Calder can be seen via tape delay on ESPN2 from 6:00-6:30 p.m. (ET) on NTRA 2Day at the Races.
As part of its big day, Calder will offer an All-Stakes Pick 4 wager with a guaranteed pool of $100,000 and a $1.00 minimum wager.
IF YOU LIKED THE BOOK...
One of Thoroughbred racing's most popular heroes will be spotlighted this summer in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in the National Museum of Racing's special exhibit, "The Legend of Seabiscuit."
Rich with artifacts, photographs, and audio/visual components, "The Legend of Seabiscuit" is a multimedia exhibit that will include classic radio broadcasts and movietone news coverage of several of Seabiscuit's races. Vintage souvenirs, fine art, trophies and equipment used on Seabiscuit will also be on display. Displayed in the Museum's McBean Gallery, the exhibit will open on Sunday, July 22 and run through December 15.
The career of Seabiscuit has gained renewed attention this year with the release last March of "Seabiscuit: An American Legend," written by Laura Hillenbrand. The book has spent the past 16 weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers List, including six weeks in the number one slot.
NTRA $1 MILLION SWEEPSTAKES SLATED FOR SUNDAY AT ARLINGTON
A lucky patron at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill., could win $1,000,000 this Sunday in the NTRA Down The Stretch Sweepstakes. Last year in the July contest, 80-year-old Geraldine Jarol of Niles, Ill., won $10,000 after coming to Arlington as part of a group outing. After filling out an entry blank for a random drawing, Jarol's name was selected to represent a certain horse in the first leg of the contest. Jarol's horse won and after that, she picked the winner of the second race in the contest, earning herself a $500 payoff. The grandmother then continued to pick winners through the $10,000 level, before finally missing with $25,000 on the line.
Rules for this year's NTRA Down The Stretch Sweepstakes remain the same. The person who fills out an entry blank Sunday, and whose name is then selected by random drawing to represent the winning horse in the first leg of the contest, could pick the winners of the next five races in the contest and win a $1 million Grand Prize.
July 14 NTRA 2Day at the Races; Princess Rooney Handicap, Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes, Carry Back Stakes, Calder Turf Sprint Handicap, Rocket Man Handicap, Quarter Horse Challenge (Calder), 5:30-6:00 p.m., ESPN2
July 15 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
July 15 Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships, Swaps Stakes (Hollywood Park), 6:00-7:00 p.m., ESPN2
July 18 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN
July 21 Racehorse Digest, 5:30-6:00 a.m., ESPN
July 25 Racehorse Digest, 1:00-1:30 p.m., ESPN
July 12, 1971: Bold Ruler, sire of 82 stakes winners, including Secretariat, died at Claiborne Farm.
July 13, 1986: Jockey Kent Desormeaux rode his first winner, a three-year-old filly named Miss Tavern, in the fifth race at Evangeline Downs.
July 13, 1996: Cigar tied Citation's record of 16 consecutive victories, winning the Citation Challenge at Arlington International Racecourse.
July 14, 1951: In his last race, Calumet Farm's six-year-old Citation won the Hollywood Gold Cup by four lengths, and became racing's first millionaire horse.
July 14, 1999: Television Games Network (TVG) made its official debut with horse racing programming available to 1.1 million C-band satellite homes though Superstar/Netlink Group, the nation's largest satellite programming provider.
July 15, 1966: Dr. Fager won his first race by seven lengths at Aqueduct racetrack. He was sent off at odds of 10-1.
July 15, 1972: After finishing fourth in his racing debut on July 4, Secretariat won his first race, under jockey Paul Feliciano. The six-length victory occurred at Aqueduct.
July 15, 1987: Jack Van Berg became the first trainer to win 5,000 races when he sent Art's Chandelle, a $10,000 claimer, to victory at Arlington Park.
July 15, 1999: The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) confirmed that it had completed its purchase of the horseracing assets of Winner Communications via its newly formed subsidiary, NTRA Investments LLC.
July 15, 2000: Three-year-old filly Hallowed Dreams kept her record perfect and tied Cigar's and Citation's record of 16 consecutive wins by taking the Dixie Miss Stakes at Louisiana Downs.
July 16, 1998: Breeders' Cup Limited announced that a new $1 million turf race for fillies and mares would be added to Breeders' Cup Championship Day beginning in 1999. The race would be called the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf and would be run at 1¼ miles.
July 17, 1975: Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. notched his 3,000th career victory, aboard Lexington Lark at Hollywood Park.
July 17, 1994: Former jockey Angel Cordero Jr. had his first stakes victory as a trainer when he sent Holy Mountain to win the Lexington Stakes at Belmont Park. Cordero was officiating on behalf of Holy Mountain's regular trainer, Bob Klesaris, who was serving a suspension.
July 18, 1942: Garden State Park officially opened. A crowd of 31,682 welcomed the return of racing to New Jersey after a 49-year absence.
July 18, 1989: The last Northern Dancer foal to be sold at public auction, later named Northern Park, was purchased by Zenya Yoshida for $2.8 million. In 30 starts over four years in France, Northern Park compiled a 4-7-4 record.
July 18, 1993: Jockey Gary Stevens topped $100 million in purse earnings after winning the seventh race at Hollywood Park aboard Don't Presume (GB).
July 19, 2000: Allen Paulson, owner and breeder of Cigar, died in La Jolla, Calif. after a long battle with cancer. He was 78.
July 20, 1951: Six-year-old Citation, the first Thoroughbred to earn $1 million, was retired.
July 20, 1974: Carl Rosen's Chris Evert trounced Miss Musket by 50 lengths in the world's richest match race, a $350,000 winner-take-all contest at Hollywood Park.
July 20, 1988: John Galbreath, founder of Darby Dan Farm, died at age 90. He was the first person to have owned and bred winners of the Kentucky Derby (Chateaugay and Proud Clarion) and the Epsom Derby (Roberto).
July 21, 1989: Jockey Chris McCarron notched his 5,000th winner, riding I Sure Hope So to victory in the fifth race at Hollywood Park.
July 22, 1999: Dale Baird, the winningest trainer in history, recorded his 8,000th victory at Mountaineer Race Track in Chester, W.V., sending out Midsummer Scene to take the 6th race.
July 23, 1947: Early Edition, Hunter's Sun and Brown Jewel, all offspring of the sire Hunter's Moon IV, finished 1-2-3, respectively, in a race at Hollywood Park
July 23, 1985: A bay colt, Seattle Dancer, son of Nijinsky II and the mare My Charmer, sold to Robert Sangster for $13.1 million-the record price for a Thoroughbred. Seattle Dancer, a half brother to 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, raced five times as a three-year-old to earn less than $150,000 from two wins, one second and one third before he was retired. The previous record for a horse sold at auction was $10.2 million, paid by Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum in 1983 for Snaafi Dancer, who never raced.
SATURDAY, JULY 14
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